Welfare in Melbourne

What next?

  There may be valuable learning in experiencing and understanding a way of life different from yours. It may surprise you to discover that you will learn things about your own culture that you may not have thought about before. As time goes on you will become more familiar with your new environment and you will feel more confident, develop new friends and manage social and professional interactions more comfortably. Some students get to this phase quite quickly but for some it takes longer. Don’t worry! Use the strategies suggested and the services provided to assist you to make the necessary adjustments.

Muslim Students

Finding somewhere to stay is part of the study experience is Australia. You could stay in a private rental property (alone or with friends), homestay with a family, student apartment or residential college. Whatever you choose, it is important that you fully understand all of your options and aware of your rights and responsibilities.

Halal Food

You’ll be able to find halal groceries in either Woolworths of Coles, which are two of the biggest grocery retailers in Australia. If you plan on eating out, there are numerous halal joints scattered throughout the city.

You can check this website for a list of halal places in Melbourne. Additionally, some places, while not technically halal, do not serve pork so that could be an option as well.

Praying Spaces

There are numerous prayer rooms located on campus at RMIT. You can check these locations here . For locations off campus, you may visit this website to see which is most convenient for you.


RMIT is located in close to the heart of the CBD which is easily accessible through different modes of transport. Here are the various possible ways to get to university.

  • North-South Yarra trams (routes 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67 and 72) that run along Swanston Street will arrive directly in front of RMIT Building 10,12 & 80 at Stop 7 RMIT University/Swanston Street (Melbourne City)
  • Elizabeth Street services (routes 19, 57, 59) will stop at Melbourne Central which is one block walk (10min) from Swanston Street/RMIT University

For more information on tram services visit here .

  • Believe it or not, walking will one of the main modes ‘getting around’ in Melbourne as everything is conveniently accessible.

  • Invest in a good pair of shoes! & Don’t be lazy!
  • Cycling is an easy an efficient way to get around the city of Melbourne, into the city, as well as to University.
  • Invest in a bicycle or rent public bikes which are located all around Melbourne.

For more information on cycling in Melbourne visit here .

Private Transport
  • If you’re feeling lazy to take public transport to University, other options include taking an Uber or driving your own car.

For more information on where you can park your vehicle visit here.

Phone plan

We recommend that you find a phone plan with data allowance when you first land in Australia. Most plans, pre-paid or post-paid, usually include internet usage anyway.

Big 3 Telco service providers :

  • Telstra
  • Optus
  • Vodafone

Most of them have very competitive packages so be sure to check the websites of each of these companies to find the data plan most suitable for you. A bonus is that they usually have promotions around the period of early February to cater to arriving international students, so be sure to take advantage of that!

Also, do note that you will need to bring your PASSPORT with you when you sign up for a plan as they will need it to identify you. If you’re planning to take a long-term post-paid plan, you’ll also need proof of your residence and a bank statement.

*Tip: If you don’t have an accommodation or bank account yet, just sign up for a pre-paid sim first. You can always get a long-term plan later on.


Melbourne can be quite an expensive city to live in, whether it’s food & groceries, appliances, household essentials or entertainment. So here are some places to help you save big on even the smallest things!


From a wide range of food, cutlery, household items to almost anything you can think of Daiso has you covered! At only $2.80 for most of their products, it is definitely a go-to place for your daily essentials.

Location: There are two major stores located in the CBD which are relatively close to RMIT. One of which is located in QV Shopping Centre and the other is located along Bourke Street.

For more information visit here .


Coles & Woolworths

  • These two giant supermarkets will be your go-to place for all your grocery needs! With weekly sales and discounts on a large range of items you’ll be able to purchase most of your groceries at a low and affordable price.
Asian Supermarket

Hometown Asian Supermarket & Tokyo Asian Supermarket

  • For all the Asian groceries that you can’t find in major supermarkets such as Coles & Woolworths, you’ll find at a cheap price in these two supermarkets located in the CBD. In addition, you’ll get a discount by showing our RUMA Membership Card at these stores.

Household items

Big W & Kmart

These two giant department stores will sell all your daily essentials, appliances and household items at low prices. They are located throughout the CBD and are easily accessible.

For more information:

Factory Outlet

DFO & Harbour Town

For cheaper retail and entertainment DFO & Harbour Town are factory outlets with extensive yearly sales that are definitely worth going to for all you retail needs.

For more information:

Additional Info


Queer Department active in organising social events both on- and off-campus. Queer Lounges are run across campuses which are safe spaces in which queer students can be themselves without being judged. They are open from 8am – 8pm and the different locations are:

City Campus: Building 5, Level 1, Room 17

Bundoora Campus: Building 204

Brunswick Campus: Building 515, Level 1, Room 4


RUSU also runs a drop-in centre for RMIT students who are experiencing life difficulties who want to know where to go to seek help and resolve them. The Compass Drop-in Centre can provide free information, referrals and support and is independent from the university. 


If you’re on a Subclass 573 International Student Visa, you’ll be permitted to work 40 hours every fortnight. If you’re planning on getting a job, you absolutely MUST have a tax file number (TFN). Visit the Tax Office’s website to apply for a TFN. 

A fortnight means a period of 14 days starting on any Monday and ending on the second following Sunday.

For example, a student works the following numbers of hours:

  • Week 1: 10 hours
  • Week 2: 30 hours
  • Week 3: 20 hours
  • Week 4: 20 hours

During the second fortnight (Week 2 and Week 3), the student worked more than 40 hours and is in breach of visa conditions. More info here .

Help services

For most, studying in a different country can be an exciting and scary experience, and it can be difficult for students to settle and adjust to their new environment.

In Malaysia, much of what you do is natural and does not require much thought. However, in a new country with a different culture, simple tasks can be challenging at times because you do not know how to act or behave, you don’t always understand body language, and your actions and words are not always reciprocated in the way you expected.

Not to worry! This is normal for many international students because you are dealing with a new set of values, different ways of thinking and doing simple things. If you think you are suffering from culture shock, you can talk to Student Services/ Student Support for advice and information.

You can find Student Support offices at:

City Campus: Building 10, Level 4

Bundoora Campus: Building 202, Level 2, Room 10

Additionally, you can visit International Students Support page for more information here .

Last updated on August 21, 2018.

RMIT University Student Union (RUSU)

RMIT University Student Unicon Affiliate


RMIT University Malaysian Association (RUMA) accepts no responsibility for the supplied information or omissions, or any use or reliance of the said information. The information is based on our own research and the personal experiences of students. Although we try to update our information as frequently as possible, we ask that you do not solely rely on this information but do further research of your own.

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